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      For details of airing see bottom of page

                 Guest For  FRIDAY MARCH 20,  2009


                                    (Original air date: 01-17-86)


                      MOORHEAD C. KENNEDY JR





       United States Foreign Service Officer



                        One of the Hostages in Iran - 1979 


           "The Ayatollah in the Cathedral -

                 Reflections of a Hostage"





The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5p8SKUqbGvU - MOORHEAD C. KENNEDY JR






Moorhead C. Kennedy Jr.

Moorhead C. Kennedy Jr. was educated at Princeton where he was the first (perhaps in

the country) to study Arabic and Islamic Culture. He went on to the Harvard Law

 school where his specialized was Islamic Law. After University studies he became

 a United States Foreign Service officer and after serving at number of posts was

 the Economic advisor and consular at the US embassy in Tehran Iran. He was one

 of the hostages held there in the wake of the 1979 revolution. He subsequently

 publish the book The Ayatollah in the Cathedral in which he leveled serious

criticism of Ethnocentric and arrtogant assumptions of American Policy toward

the World at large and particularly in the Middle East and the broader Islamic Uma.

A review of the book by: Gaddis Smith

The Ayatollah in the Cathedral: Reflections of a Hostage

Moorhead Kennedy

Reviewed by Gaddis Smith, Foreign Affairs,

Winter 1986/87

An intensely personal memoir-essay about the author's career as a diplomat

specializing in the Middle East, his experience as one of the hostages in Teheran,

 subsequent resignation from the Foreign Service, and a spectacular disagreement

 with antinuclear activists leading to another resignation-this time as the head of

a church-related peace institute. His twofold message is an appeal to Americans

 to understand the perspectives of others, especially the people of the Middle

 East, and a denunciation of dogmatism by the American equivalents of the



Category:  People & Blogs


January 27, 1981


WEST POINT, N.Y., Jan. 26 (AP) - Moorhead C. Kennedy Jr., one of the freed American

 hostages, said today that his Iranian captors had told him repeatedly that he was being

 punished for America's role in Vietnam.

''As they led us out of the embassy on Nov. 4, they whispered in my ear, 'Vietnam, Vietnam,' ''

 said Mr. Kennedy, an economic specialist in the State Department and the third-ranking

 diplomat in the United States Embassy in Teheran when it fell in November 1979.

In an interview at the United States Military Academy, where the hostages were relaxing with

their families today, Mr. Kennedy said that the militants had lined the hostages' cells with

 posters of crippled Vietnamese children and repeated frequently, ''We're paying you back for Vietnam.''

Mr. Kennedy, 50 years old, is a native of New York, where his parents now live. He also

 criticized the aborted rescue attempt by the United States last April, calling it ''America's

 only mistake'' in the long ordeal.

Deaths Might Have Resulted

''Even if it succeeded, a lot of us would have been killed,'' he said. ''Even if they had gotten

the planes in, we would have been shot up on the way out.''

Mr. Kennedy praised former President Carter for his overall handling of the crisis. ''I think

 President Carter's way of handling it, not panicking, was the right one,'' he said. ''Our

 restrained posture gave us credit.''

America has improved its standing in the world because of the way it conducted itself while the

 hostages were held, Mr. Kennedy said. ''We overcame all the damage that Vietnam had done to us.''

Mr. Kennedy said that he was considering quitting the State Department, not because he felt

bitter about his experience, but because he wanted to open a new chapter in his life.

But he added that he did not think the State Department was prepared for the embassy

takeover and that he hoped the Government learned from the experience.

''I hope there's a serious examination of how to handle it,'' he said. ''We guessed all wrong.''

--- Suicide Attempt Reported By United Press International

Morehead C. Kennedy Jr. said today that one of his colleagues tried to commit suicide while

 held captive in Teheran. He did not identify the hostage.

Almost off-handedly, Mr. Kennedy said in an interview with Barbara Walters of ABC News

 that one of the hostages had attempted suicide and their captors were ''shaking us down for

 anything which might be used to help somebody commit suicide,'' such as belts, razor blades

 and neckties.

Miss Walters asked, ''One of the hostages tried to commit suicide?'' KENNEDY: Right.

 WALTERS: Do you know which one? KENNEDY: Yes. WALTERS: It's nothing you would...

KENNEDY: Nothing I'd ever want to talk about. The State Department declined to comment

 on Mr. Kennedy's remarks.

--- Black Hostage Reports Abuse

WEST POINT, N.Y., Jan. 26 (AP) -The lone black held hostage in Iran said today that he was

 treated ''just like an animal in the zoo,'' but Charles A. Jones Jr. added that he never lost

hope that the United States Government would get him and 51 other Americans out.

''We were looking for them every day,'' said Mr. Jones, the only black detained when the

 Iranians released 13 women and black men at Thanksgiving in 1979. He did not explain why

 he had been singled out for continued captivity.

''I was interrogated five times,'' he said, adding that he was ''kicked in the ribs, had my hands

stepped on, had my head bumped up against the wall, a few other little odds and ends, had a

 gun put up against my head, was threatened with having my eyes put out - which they didn't

 do, thank God.''

Illustrations: Photo of Mr. and Mrs. Moorhead Kennedy


                                                                               Friday March 20, 2009

                                 10:30 - 11:30 AM  / (NYC Time)


                 Channel 34 of the Time/Warner & Channel 83 of the RCN 

                       Cable Television Systems in Manhattan, New York.


The Program can now be viewed on the internet at time of cable casting at



                  NOTE: You must adjust viewing to reflect NYC time

                                          & click on channel 34 at site